Leading With Your Gut
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The common saying “go with your gut” can be considered one of the most accurate ways to make decisions. Our bodies are well-oiled machines, the brain picking up on cues we might not necessarily be actively aware of but subconsciously taking in from our environment. When it comes to people and our initial thoughts, we are quick to listen to our gut, so why should we not use this same tactic when it comes to business?
Our gut is what has allowed us to survive since we were mere cavemen and was vital as a protection mechanism. We are continually analyzing information in our immediate surroundings, learning and gaining experiences that ultimately lead us to grow and to trust our own intuition. When we feel something in our gut, the reality is our past and current knowledge taking effect through a physical reaction.
Going with your initial thoughts allows for quick decision-making which is, more often than not, accurate in hindsight. Although it is also important to rely on facts and figures at times, for those in-the-moment decisions, go with instinct. In a survey by Queen’s University, it stated that 41% of leaders that took part listened to their own intuition more than data or analytics and over 65% when it came to decisions that involved their team.
Your brain is constantly reprogramming itself to take in new information and process it. This is to ensure you are always ready to react to unknown situations that may occur. For example, have you ever been driving home from work, preoccupied from the day's happenings to then find yourself parked outside your house with little memory as to how you got there? Although it may seem dangerous, your brain has been trained to take that trip day in and day out, and therefore is intuitively able to “drive” without complete cognitive awareness.
Of course, certain situations require a little more than intuition as this is very much an instinctual process and perfect for making quick decisions, rather than those that need to be more thought out. Also, be aware that your gut may hold bias and sometimes a little more weight is needed to back a decision. However, your gut is an important decision-making tool- so don’t dismiss it so quickly when it comes to call and let it lead the way.